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Ottawa activist facing sexual assault and extortion charges

Accused remains in custody

Ottawa activist Elliott Youden, 33, was charged on Sept 28, 2014, with one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of extortion. Credit: THINKSTOCK

An Ottawa gay rights activist is facing criminal charges following an incident on Sept 27. The Ottawa Police Service released a statement Sept 30 stating that Elliott Youden, 33, was charged on Sept 28 with one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of extortion.

“On September 27, 2014, shortly after 9:30pm, police responded to a call for service in the 200 block of St Patrick Street. The investigation determined that a 16 year old male victim was sexually assaulted and extorted for a sum of money,” the statement alleges. An Ottawa police representative would not confirm details of the case or the sum of money in question.

Youden appeared in court Oct 1, looking quiet and reserved. He was not granted bail and remains in custody. A publication ban on the events of the hearing, including the evidence presented to Justice Louise Logue, is in place to protect the identity of the 16-year-old victim. A non-communication order was also put in place, which prohibits Youden from contacting the victim or any witnesses. Youden will appear in court again via video remand on Oct 3. At this time, a trial date has not been set.

In June, Youden was acquitted of a separate charge of aggravated sexual assault stemming from an incident in 2010. Ontario Superior Court Justice Monique Métivier found him not guilty after the complainant failed to recall key elements of the encounter and did not produce an email from Youden that allegedly contained an apology. Justice Métivier said at the time that the testimony of both the accused and complainant lacked credibility.

The 2010 case required two trials, after the first ended in a mistrial because of an undisclosed jury issue.